First off, let me just say I loved the cover. It’s perfect, and it’s beautiful. The colors are so deep and amazing and it fits the story so well. I don’t often rave about covers, but this one is perfect.
The writing was captivating. It was just the right amount sophisticated and descriptive- intended for older readers, for sure, but it wouldn’t bore younger readers. Also, when technical terms were used, the footnotes were helpful in defining those. The only complaint I have is the occasional typos and inconsistency with names- those might be typos as well. And some punctuation errors. But hopefully those are resolved in the final publication.
Plot: (few spoilers, highlight to read)
It started out intriguing, and just kept getting more so. I fell in love with Jamie from her first introduction. She seemed so amazing, and so unassuming! She was basically the perfect person, with seemingly magical abilities to boot. I was surprised no one had tried to exploit her before, but naturally that had to happen eventually.
This is one of those books where you think the plot is predictable until about halfway, and then PLOT TWIST that you could not have seen coming (although in this case there were a few subtle clues) and suddenly you are bombarded with new information that shifts the plot completely. It’s like, uh huh, I get what’s going on here- bad guy running evil corporation that’s destroying wildlife, got that whole story down, seen it before- but then it kind of takes it to a whole nother level. It’s not your average save-the-earth book, which I guess I kind of expected given that it said it had elements of fantasy woven into it- which were done perfectly, I might add. It wasn’t fantasy like fairies and magic, but more like believable sixth-senses and what I like to call the Deeper Meaning of things, but not so overwhelming that you immediately want to put down the book. I felt like the narrator’s writing was kind of like Jamie herself, slowly introducing you to the idea that there is more out there, patiently addressing questions and easing you into the idea of it rather than preaching the entire time. It was lovely. Now, I may be biased because I sort of buy into that stuff (I also tend to be easily swayed by anything that I read), but I think it could be easily accepted (if not believed) by a wide variety of readers out there. Like I said, it’s not preachy at all and, real-life-applications aside, it does make for a nice story.
As for the PLOT TWIST, I do have some things to say about that. I guess it may have been predictable. I’m sure a twist of that type has been done before. I don’t think it was particularly NECESSARY to take it to that extreme, but it wasn’t elaborated upon enough to make it negatively affect the book. Usually I like things to be elaborated upon. I felt like in this book, when the plot twist came, it was just kind of briefly mentioned and then shunted aside like it wasn’t really important. And in my view, it wasn’t. With the PLOT TWIST came a new Supremely Evil Bad Guy, who came pretty much out of nowhere and had perhaps 2 or 3 appearances in the book, so his/her importance level was clearly low. But I wasn’t complaining. I felt like it was rather a bit much and wasn’t truly necessary to the story so I was happy to read on past that and just see what was happening with Jamie and the whales. Honestly, the book might have done just as well without the PLOT TWIST. It may have left open a few holes, but those could have been closed in other ways. If you are going to include a PLOT TWIST, at least elaborate on it enough to make it important to the story.
On that note, this book might have left room for a sequel at the end. When I got to around the 230 page mark, I was thinking, how is she going to tie it up in 40 pages? (I always look to see how long the book is before I start.) The last 40 pages went pretty quickly for me, but I’m not sure how much of that was just fast pacing or me being eager to finish it. There are a few things that COULD have been expanded on a bit more, and some loose ends…especially with the characters: Where did Dr. Emery Wells come from? Where exactly did Liz fit into the whole business? What is the whole point of the whale-aliens? Can you explain that whole bit?Actually, that last bit may be enough to fill a whole separate book, which is why it could have done with a sequel. I AM satisfied with the ending, because I liked the book enough in general, but a sequel would not have been unwelcome.
Jamie: I really like Jamie from the start. She was a very likeable person and not at all arrogant or corrupted, which was a surprise. Her powers were like magic, although I get the vibe that she might be offended if I use that term. Obviously she was a very 3D character, a memorable one, if I am talking about her as if I know her personality very well. (:
Liz: Honestly I didn’t really feel any attachment to her at the start. She seemed an airhead (although later described to be very smart) at times even though she was probably the nicest to Jamie from the beginning. So meh. And then the PLOT TWIST came, and I wasn’t given a chance to hate her even then, because her role wasn’t explained clearly. Basically Liz for me is just one giant MEH.
Sam: Hm. Yeah he was a jerk from the beginning, but then became a valuable helper? Well, I wouldn’t say he was exactly a ‘sweetie’, using Liz’s term, but I guess he wasn’t so bad at the end. It’s hard forming an opinion about him because he had such a turnaround.
Mat: I knew right away the type he’d be, and I kept hoping he’d turn around and surprise me, but nah, that wasn’t the route the book took. So he’s the only character who stayed truly stereotypical.
Jimbo: I wasn’t sure of him for a while, but when the PLOT TWIST came, I had my original thoughts confirmed and he was indeed the good and honest friend to Liz that I hoped he would be.
Good vs. Bad
- Plot (including twist)
- characters (heroine in particular)
- ending (although could have been sequel)
Less than perfect:
- certain characters
- some things unresolved at the end (again, sequel?)
This is an amazing, beautiful book about the importance of understanding nature with elements of fantasy mixed in. It is not overbearing at all but rather a delightful read for anyone. The writing was perfect aside from a few typos and name consistency errors. The characters were truly interesting and certainly likeable. The plot was exciting and not as predictable as one might imagine, and while it may have left room for a sequel, it sufficiently wrapped everything up in one book. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. Would I read more by this author? Most certainly. Would I recommend this book to others? Without a doubt.